Today's Beautiful Gem: `Here is my requiem' by Mozart (1756-1791).
The name Mozart conjures up visions, aural visions. It is said
that Lord Shiva received philosophical instructions from a young
boy, his own son Kumaara. That story is shrouded in mythology.
But the fact is that countless musicians and composers marvelled
at the genius of the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and received
music lessons from him. When children of his age were in
grammar school, Mozart with his composer father and artistic
sister, was touring Europe displaying his prodigious talents
before the nobility of those days. He wrote symphonies and
operas when he reached his teens. In all aspects, he was
child-like except in matters pertaining to music where he was
a god, a creator of soft, lilting, but pure and ever-lasting
melodies. Geniuses do not last long. Their cup of life is
always measured. Our own mathematical prodigy Ramanujan died
young. So did Mozart, in his thirties.
This is how Mozart felt as he described in a letter to his
father: "Dearest Papa, I cannot write in verse, for I am no
poet. I cannot arrange words and phrases artistically so as
to produce effects of light and shade, for I am no painter.
Even by signs and gestures I cannot express my thoughts and
feelings, for I am no dancer. But I can do so through sounds,
for I am a composer." (8 Nov 1777)
Can Hindi film buffs ever forget the Salil Chaudhury song itnana
mujhseto pyaar... based on the opening stanza from one of Mozart's
symphonies? Joseph Haydn, an older contemporary of Mozart, who
composed more than one hundred symphonies, told Leopold Mozart
(the father of Amadeus): "I tell you before God, as an honest
man: Your son is the greatest composer I know, either in person
or by reputation: he has taste and, furthermore, he has the
greatest mastery of the art of comoposition." Three months before
his death, Amadeus said: "I have come to the end before having
enjoyed my talent. Life was so lovely, my career opened under
such happy auspices, but one cannot change one's destiny. No
one can know the measure of his days; one must resign oneself,
for it will all go as Providence decrees. I end my days; here
is my requiem which I must not leave unfinished." Alas, he did
leave the requiem unfinished! But who can write a requiem to
such a gifted composer?
I am very fond of his piano concertos, his symphonies and his
other concertos for various instruments like the flute, the oboe,
the clarionet and the horn. Enjoy the music of Mozart, a cup of
happiness laced with occasional mysterious sorrow!
Om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao